CLASH OF POWERS

Catalan government alleges that Spain infringes on its powers with subsidies for social welfare programs

The Catalan authorities insist income tax donation of 0.7% for social purposes must be accounted for by region, as Spain’s TC and Supreme Court have ruled on several occasions

On Tuesday Catalonia’s Generalitat complained about a new clash of powers with Madrid. This time Neus Munté —the Catalan Minister for the Presidency— announced that Catalonia will file a writ of incompetence before the Spanish administration relating to the call for State subsidies earmarked for general interest programs originating from designations on the income tax statement. As a preliminary step to filing a formal complaint of conflict of powers before the Constitutional Court (TC), the Catalan government has asked for a preemptive advisory ruling from the Council of Statutory Guarantees.

The programs financed with these resources are aimed at helping people from disadvantaged groups or those at risk of social exclusion. Indeed, the Generalitat has exclusive powers over social services, volunteers, minors, and family support, and thus, both the Constitutional Court (TC) and the Supreme Court have ruled on several occasions that Madrid must account for these budgetary contributions by region so as to fund the programs and transfer to Catalonia the amount due.

The Spanish administration, however, has not to date given in to these requests, and, in fact, approved a law that protects centralized management of the 0.7%, which prompted the Supreme Court to rule in favor of the State in a recent decision.